National Alumni Association outlines goals during 38th annual convention
Kesha Williams July 25, 2008
National Alumni Association officials say increasing the organization's membership
is a primary goal in the next year. Their 38th annual national convention in Elizabeth
City drew over 100 participants.
Dr. Charles Cherry, president of the NAA, was enthused by the scope of events the
Elizabeth City chapter planned for this year's conference. Organizers held workshops
that highlight young alumni involvement, fundraising, alumni membership, student recruitment,
and ECSU athletics. In an effort to garner more participation from recent graduates,
the convention program included a panel discussion on topics of interest to young
alumni. Dr. Cherry applauded the host chapter for diligently working to meet the interests
of so many alumni.
"The host committee did an excellent job of revisiting the NAA constitution, involving
young alumni and making sure we had a diverse body," Dr. Cherry said. "We are trying
to increase NAA membership so we are planning more strategies to reach graduates who
are not participating in the association or attending the conferences. We received
positive feedback from the participants who attended and that is encouraging."
Dr. Jeanette Evans served as chairperson and Mrs. Yvonne Walton served as co-chairperson.
The 12-member committee began working early in the year to prepare a list of speakers
who would inform the audience of the latest developments at ECSU. The convention was
dedicated to its founder, Elaine Welch Perry, class of '54. The keynote speaker for
the Blue and White Recognition Breakfast, Keith Richardson, class of 2003, wowed the
audience with a motivational speech on what it means to be a Viking. During this
inaugural recognition breakfast, several alumni received awards for their generous
contributions and unselfish service to both the association and the university. Among
those alums honored were Gwendolyn Bowser, Ella Ivory, Elston Howell, and Demetra
ECSU Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist's schedule did not allow him to attend the conference
but his video-recorded State of the University address applauded alumni for their
ongoing support for ECSU.
As a prelude to the president's message, the convention attendees participated in
a spirited discussion on recommended changes to the NAA Constitution. NAA President
Charles D. Cherry concluded the convention with a powerful message on his vision for
the association. He charged the alumni to be open and honest with their ideas and
suggestions and to be dedicated to helping the university and the association grow
"Our priorities will continue to support the mission, vision, goals, and priorities
of the university. We will approach our work with a "can-do" spirit, realizing, of
course, that can't is a word of defeat; can is a word of power."
"We will try several strategies to increase the membership so we can convert Viking
Pride to Viking power. Through membership, participation and donations we will have
more Viking power. I recognize what the university has done for me and I hope others
do too. Membership is growing, however it's not where we'd like to see it. "
Elizabeth City alumni committee members were:
1. Dr. Jeanette H. Evans, Chairperson
2. Mrs. Yvonne S. Walton, Co-Chair
3. Dr. Charles D. Cherry, National Alumni President
4. Mrs. Deborah J. Cowell, Local Alumni President
5. Mr. Jerome Brothers, Registration
6. Mr. Arkeem Fleming, Young Alums Panel Coordinator
7. Dr. Demetra Tyner, Food Service Coordinator
8. Mrs. Sandra Gibson, Food Service Coordinator
9. Mrs. Ethel Meekins, Support Personnel
10. Mrs. Shirley Jones, Support Personnel
11. Mrs. Barbara Sutton, Director of Alumni Relations
12. Mr. Cliff Vanterpool, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations
Next year's convention will be hosted by a southern area chapter. More information
Through the NAA membership . . .
Alumni maintain positive contacts made during the undergraduate/graduate
Alumni learn firsthand about the developments of the university.
Alumni preserve the legacy of the institution.
Alumni invest in the future of the university through scholarship donations, and recruitment
Alumni influence the number of people earning bachelor's and master's degrees.